Okay, so let's say your giftee has all the old classics and series already. What is hot and new this year?
I ran a report of books we added this year, published in 2014 or 2015, and sorted by number of check-outs per month. The following titles checked out an average of more than once a month - which is pretty good, since they can theoretically be out for three weeks at a time!
The cute cover makes it easy to see why this one is snatched off the shelf. Our narrator explains how a bear might, in a string of increasingly improbable events, have ended up in the park where the reader's lunchbox happened to be sitting. The fact that the narrator is revealed to be the reader's dog should, of course, in no way cast doubts upon his reliability. This could lead to some fun exercises in fantastical story telling ("how do you suppose that shoe ended up on the side of the road?")
Mr. Fish is nervously awaiting his first day of school, and he frets about not knowing how to write his name, how to draw shapes, and how to do math—until he's reassured that school is the perfect place to learn how to master all of these new skills.
I will happily admit we were one of those check-outs. Sheridan came to me in TEARS last month, because she isn't at ALL ready for second grade, AND she doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up! This is the child who is finishing her first semester of Kinder. I assure you, neither her teacher nor her parents are putting undo pressure on her, this is all her. She got a kick out of all Mr. Fish's grumps and moans, and by the second reading most of my kids were joining in on the 'refrain'. A great gift for a little one who may be starting school next year - perhaps with a backpack, or school supplies to practice with, or even a miniature fish to keep in his pocket to remind him he doesn't have to know it all right away!
I did a quick review of this series a couple months ago:
and it is still hugely popular. The set of three (so far) would be a perfect gift for a pair of sisters! Maybe even gift with the promise of planting a tree for each in the Spring.
Are owls still big in decor, or did I miss that boat?
Either way, I think I want this cover stenciled on a nursery wall somewhere. A companion to Little Owl's Night (2011), this beautiful story of a baby owl finding himself awake during the day, introduces little ones to differences they might not have been aware of. Pair both titles with a promise to go on a nighttime walk together, and see how things are the same or different around your home.
Other 2015 titles that have been popular:
The Moon is Going to Addy's House by Ida Pearle
15 Things Not to Do with a Baby by Margaret McAllister
Otter in Space by Sam Garton
A Crow of His Own by Megan Lambert
One Thousand Things by Anna Kovecses
Winnie and Waldorf by Kati Hites
Janine by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
Bunnies!!! by Kevan Atteberry
The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett
A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell
Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood
Fix This Mess by Tedd Arnold
Before After by Anne-Margot Ramstein
Found by Salina Yoon
Duck, Duck, Moose! by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
The Farmer and the Clown by Marla Frazee
Green is a Chile Pepper by Roseanne Thong
My Grandfather's Coat by Jim Aylesworth